The Washington Mystics got their start in 1998 as one of the first franchise teams in the WNBA. Washington Sports and Entertainment backed them at the time.
Washington Sports and Entertainment eventually sold the team to Lincoln Holdings LLC, which was spearheaded by Ted Leonsis. So who are these companies and how were they involved with the success of the Mystics?
Washington Sports and Entertainment
The Washington Sports and Entertainment company is an extremely fortunate and powerful company that owns and operates some predominant teams, venues, and businesses.
Some of the things the company can put on the resume of owning and operating are The Washington Wizards, Mystics, and Capitals, Verizon Center, Ticketmaster (Baltimore ticketing service), Musicentre Productions, and the management division that oversees the George Mason University Patriot Center.
Abe Pollin was the Owner and Chairman of Washington Sports and Entertainment, and passed away at the age of 85. It is interesting to note that Washington Sports and Entertainment is a subsidiary of Lincoln Holdings LLC.
Lincoln Holdings LLC
In 2005, Ted Leonsis bought the Washington Mystics from Washington Sports and Entertainment leader, Abe Pollin. It was rumored that Pollin’s health was fading and Leonsis was the next best person to take over and the run the business.
Ted Leonsis is the founder, chairman, and majority owner of Lincoln Holdings LLC. He is known as one of the country’s premier businessmen. Leonsis is gifted in what he does and has many interests, other than owning three professional sports teams. Before acquiring the teams, he held numerous positions of leadership at AOL in his 15 years there.
His interest in technology is evident as 2009 saw him as AOL’s Vice Chairman emeritus, Chairman of Clearspring Technologies, Revolution Money, and SnagFilms. Leonsis is also a film producer and finished his project called Nanking, which is a documentary about the toll war can take on the innocent. Set during WWII, Nanking tells the story of the Japanese invasion into Nanking, China.
Monumental Sports And Entertainment
Monumental Sports and Entertainment is a joining of the Washington Sports and Entertainment and Lincoln Holdings LLC. These three powerful groups merged to become one super group that owned three professional sports teams and the Verizon Center. Monumental Sports and Entertainment seeks to combine the efforts of the spirit of cooperation between all the sports teams and winning to be a successful company.
They are one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country, along with a diverse partnership group in all sports. Leonsis is the majority owner, Chairman, and CEO. Dick Patrick serves as Vice Chairman and COO, as well as the President of the Capitals. Raul Fernandez and Sheila Johnson are Co-Vice Chairman, while Johnson is also the President and managing partner of the Mystics.
It is interesting to not that Sheila Johnson is also a founding partner of BET (Black Entertainment Television) and was the first African-American woman to have a share in all three professional sports teams.